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Friday Estimates: Dunkirk Dunks on the Competition with $19.8 million

July 22nd, 2017

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Dunkirk dominated the Friday box office chart. Okay, maybe dominate is too strong a word, but more on that down below. The film earned a better than anticipated opening day of $19.8 million. Additionally, its reviews are award-worthy, while it earned an A minus from CinemaScore. Frankly, given its reviews, I’m surprised it only got an A minus. With its $5.5 million in previews, I was expecting an opening day a little north of $20 million, so hopefully this isn’t a sign of short legs. Look for an opening weekend of $55 million. On a side note, the reason we are not using Dunkirk images is we only got two of them and we’ve already used them both, twice. I tried to find the French site to see if they had more images (This is what I did for Kong: Skull Island.) but I ended up on the Dunkirk tourist site by accident and now all of the ads I see on YouTube are in French.

Girls Trip is the closest competition for Dunkirk earning $11.68 million. There are not a lot of films in this genre aimed at this target demographic, which makes predictions difficult, but there’s no reason to be upset by this result. Even if the film has weak legs, it will top its $20 million production budget by the end of business on Saturday. Given its reviews and its A plus from CinemaScore, A PLUS, it could have great legs. I do caution against getting too optimistic, as African-American women are an underserved demographic and that can result in shorter legs, as they have so few films aimed at them, they will rush out to see a film as soon as possible. Because of this, I don’t think it will reach $30 million over the weekend. On the other hand, $28 million is still better than our high end prediction.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opened in third place with $6.5 million, but it won’t stay in third place for long. Its reviews have slipped below the overall positive level and it only managed a B minus from CinemaScore, so it’s word of mouth isn’t going to be good. Furthermore, it is a very polarizing movie with some claiming it is going to be considered a classic in a few years, like The Fifth Element is now. Others are calling it trash. A $16 million opening is lower than expected and a disaster for a film that cost well over $100 million to make. However, it is a French film and will undoubtedly do better in France and the rest of Europe, while I can see it being a hit in many Asian markets as well.

Spider-Man: Homecoming added $6.34 million on Friday, which is more or less what we expected and should earn about $22 million over the weekend. Again, it will likely need a push from the studio to get to $300 million.

Meanwhile, War for the Planet of the Apes fell 73% to just $5.9 million on Friday. That’s a lot sharper decline than I expected, especially given its reviews. It will bounce back on Saturday, but perhaps not enough to overtake Spider-Man: Homecoming for fourth place.

Friday Box Office Chart

- Dunkirk Comparisons
- Girls Trip Comparisons
- Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Comparisons

Filed under: Friday Estimates, The Fifth Element, War for the Planet of the Apes, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Dunkirk, Girls Trip